Have you ever heard the term biophilia?
Edward O. Wilson introduced this concept based on his work, describing biophilia as the notion that that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.
Simple really if you break down the word. Bio=life, including organisms, species, habitats, processes and objects in their natural surroundings. And Philia= attraction or positive feeling toward.
Do you think Mr. Wilson considered the need for sunscreen without cancer causing agents and natural bug sprays, the increase in child predators creeping in suburban neighborhoods, increased presence of bullies, the risks of getting nice clothing dirty, getting precious children dirty, the norm of fenced yards providing safe perimeters, expectation of themed and scheduled playdates, and the fact that no adult is available to be present every single minute of every single daylight hour in order for a child to play?
This leads to the question of — are we interfering with a child’s natural biophilia? Or our own for that matter?
Earth day is coming up on Sunday April 22, 2018. What better day to discover your family’s natural biophilia?
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas that might please your whole crew.
- Freeze Tag.
- Climb a tree (you know you’d still love to).
- Find some big rocks and sit and read.
- Go fishing.
- Try geocaching (our fav!) More here.
- Go on a nature treasure hunt and fill buckets with treasures.
- Wade in a stream with rain boots and record all the organisms you find.
- Bird watching. Print a sheet of birds common to your area and let the kids circle what you see.
- Set up a drawing or painting station in the yard and create art inspired by nature’s beauty.
- Collect rocks – simply to save or to build or create with later.
- Hit the lake or river with a boat or float.
- Bike – in your neighborhood or local trail.
- Beautify – choose a park or street to clean up/remove trash.
- Be brave and actually let them play in the mud (they’ll never forget it).
- Visit a local orchard or farm and learn how real food grows.
- Skip rocks in a stream.
- Grab large flat pieces of cardboard and slide down the best grassy hill near you.
- Plant a simple potted garden on your porch or in your yard that everyone can help care for.
- Gaze at the clouds and tell stories about what you see.
According to the Child Mind Institute, the average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Simply put – people (children included) are happier and healthy when they engage with their outdoor environment. No better day to start than today!